What’s the Best Delivery Method for Your Project?
In the age-old debate between design bid vs. design-bid-build, one thing is clear: it all depends on your needs, wishes and expectations as a homeowner. You have many options at your disposal when it comes to your project and the company you choose for the design and construction. But before you make that all-important decision, you should explore the main differences between these two most common types of firms. Only then can you truly understand how each contract operates and which type of remodeling firm is right for your unique situation. Making an informed decision takes research and diligence on your part.
This traditional process involves the homeowner contracting separately for the design phase and the contracting phase. Essentially, you’re dealing with two separate companies: an architect or designer, and a remodeling contractor. You’ll find that most of the details regarding the remodeling project details are outlined within the design phase initially, which allows the owner to make decisions about the design and build process prior to sending out a call for bids. It’s then time to solicit fixed-price bids from several contractors and compare them all. The contractor the owner selects is the one who meets all the stated parameters, usually at the lowest cost. This contractor then signs an agreement to do all construction within the scope of work. Once signed, the owner relinquishes control, with change orders being made to the project scope from there on out. If problems crop up during any of the phases, it can be difficult to assign responsibility with so many hands in the pot, so to speak. Changes may be made to the scope and budget at any time, thereby extending the projected timeline and inflating the initial budget.
The other type of process — design-build — is basically an agreement between the owner and firm that encompasses all aspects of the design and construction under one company. This single source of responsibility means the designer, contractor and client all have a hand in creating a project plan from start to finish. This encourages a free flow of ideas that are shared and incorporated into the finished project, taking into account the homeowner’s budget and timeline.
Instead of the budget being created from the project’s design, the exact opposite is true: the design is based on the owner’s budget. It all starts with a discovery meeting to document the owner’s needs. Then, a financial commitment is drafted that’s called a Design Agreement. This is the beginning of the design phase in which the concept for the floor plan is made, complete with architectural renderings. To get a cost estimate, the firm takes into account material allowances. The great thing about the design phase is that the homeowner has a chance to check out different design options and what they would each cost to come up with an overall idea of what he wants to do — all without having to draw up costly plans for each option. Both the design/build firm and the homeowner can sit down together to go over the multiple options with regards to cabinets, appliances, flooring, finishes, and even eco-friendly options like roofing, insulation, windows and doors. These plans are refined as many times as needed until it all gels with the client’s stated budget. Now that the final design has been agreed upon by both parties, it’s time to advance to the construction portion. As such, the homeowner signs a construction agreement, and then construction drawings can be created from there. Once that’s done, a schedule is created, with project management commencing on the part of the design/build firm.
Don’t feel stressed out about your energy efficient remodeling project. Instead, partner with a design/build firm that handles all aspects of the process for you under one roof. This will help you boost your time management, make the most of your budget and allow you to become a collaborative partner in your project. After all, it’s your money. Shouldn’t it be used how YOU want it to? Become a part of a team effort and hire Lakeside Advanced Builders to make your dream home become a reality.